The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately register and recognize the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), as a new political party.
The court, in a judgment that was delivered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, directed INEC to issue a Certificate of Registration to the party within 30 days.
Justice Kolawole held that by virtue of Section 78(4) of the Electoral Act 2010, the SPN, having met all the requirements under the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010, “is deemed registered as a political party in Nigeria”.
The plaintiffs challenged INEC’s refusal to register their party and issue them a Certificate of Registration despite fulfilling all the statutory conditions, including the payment of administration fee of N1m, establishment of the national headquarters in Abuja and constituting a National Executive Committee with members from at least 24 states and Abuja.
INEC was said to have, in a letter dated August 12, 2014, which was its response to the application by SPN to be registered as a political party, said it terminated the registration process over failure of the political group to allow for verification of its submitted claims.